Reviews of Mid-tier EAI Products
Network Computing magazine does a lot of software reviews. This month they reviewed mid-tier integration products. Since I don't know much about the mid and lower market for integration and EAI tools I thought it was worthwhile to check out the review. The interesting element in this article was the inclusion of the open source Business Integration Engine, similar to Microsoft's BizTalk server, in their review. It's not often that mainstream publications will include open source software in reviews, particularly when looking at ETL or EAI. If you want to do some integration on the cheap, and your shop uses Java, it's worth a look.
Posted by Mark Sunday, July 25, 2004 2:25:00 PM |
Capital vs. Expense
It was pointed out that my last post contains an error because escorts are an expense, and therefore can't come out of the capital budget. I know that for tech companies at least, this is not the case.
I know this because I know of a sales rep years ago in my region who had recurring $150 charges on his expense report when travelling. The finance department finally followed up with a phone call to the company in question and discovered the nature of the business transactions. The rep was fired. This implies that it's a capitalized cost, and not to be expensed under any circumstances.
This is because many tech companies capitalize their labor.
Posted by Mark Wednesday, July 21, 2004 9:34:00 PM |
Buying Versus Building
I'm editing an article for DM Review that I should have finished days ago on the decision to buy versus build ETL. Fortunately the editors at the magazine are both kindly and forgiving. I can’t seem to get this article into shape. I start paragraphs just fine, then they trail off. For example:
"Is an ETL product overkill?" should be the first question to ask yourself. High-priced full-featured products are great if you exploit all the features, but they are overly complex and inefficient tools if you only use a portion of what they offer. On the other hand, if you buy a product because it's the cheapest, do you think about how you can buy more hookers with the money you saved? I often find myself wishing IT articles were more interesting to read, but a gritty and realistic portrayal of one of my past managers is probably not what editors are looking for. On the other hand, I bet my articles would get read more.
I’ll post a link here to the complete text when it comes out.
Posted by Mark Monday, July 19, 2004 10:22:00 PM |
Leading ETL Vendors Announcing Disappointing Quarters
Pretty much across the board, ETL vendors are announcing disappointing quarters. Informatica and Ascential both lowered their expectations earlier this month in advance of their earnings announcements. Embarcadero also announced a slowdown in sales, and Business Objects had a spotty deal closing record (they sell Data Integrator, formerly ACTA, in case you didn't know). Given the still-weak economy, it shouldn't come as a surprise that this is happening.
I'm the middle of an ETL evaluation covering the major players at the moment. What I find odd is that of the final four companies in my evaluation, I had trouble with three of them returning my calls and identifying sales teams. Given the firms' shaky second quarters, this is not the sign of a motivated sales force, even if we are at the beginning of a new quarter. A slow economy is a reasonable excuse for poor sales and earnings, but I believe bad sales execution may be a factor in some of these vendors' results.
In my current evaluation, if one of the vendors were very responsive and on the ball, they would be ahead in the ranking right now.
Posted by Mark Sunday, July 18, 2004 5:43:00 PM |